The world community recognized the increased Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiations on the Earth surface owing to depletion of ozone layer is a cause of concern as it affects human health and eco-systems. This led to the signing of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer on 22nd March, 1985 and subsequently the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on 16th September, 1987 to protect the ozone layer.
The United Nations General Assembly, in December, 1994, adopted resolution 49/114, which proclaims 16th September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer to commemorate the date on which Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16th September, 1987.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is universally recognized as the most successful environmental treaty in history. In more than 25 years of its operation, extraordinary international cooperation led to phase-out of several Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). One of the key factors in this successful achievement was that the developed countries acknowledged their historic responsibility for production, consumption and emissions of ODSs that had led to the ozone hole. The developing countries took on commitments for phase-out of ODSs. Such common but differentiated responsibilities led to the success of the Montreal Protocol which can now serve as an example of excellent international cooperation for addressing other environmental challenges.
India became a Party to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer as early as on 18th March, 1991 and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer on 19th June, 1992 and has ratified all the amendments to the Montreal Protocol.
Since then, India has played a key role in negotiation of the Protocol and implementation of phase-out of ODSs as per the Montreal Protocol schedule by adopting various policy measures, including National Awareness Campaign.Awareness of Ozone issues is the key to promote switching over to non-ODS technologies in the industry.In accordance with the UN resolution, the Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India has been celebrating the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer since 1995 at National and State levels.
The Ozone Cell, MoEF, Government of India celebrated the International Ozone Day on 14th September, 2013. The Theme for the 19th International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer for the year 2013 was : “A healthy atmosphere, the Future We Want ”. This year’s theme is befitting to the celebrations. The control measures, implemented under the Montreal Protocol, have avoided millions of cases of fatal skin cancer and eye cataracts. The Montreal Protocol has been hailed as a prime example of successful international cooperation to protect the global commons.
On the occasion of the 19th International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, the Ozone Cell, MoEF organized the following activities :
(a) Publication of booklet Titled “The Montreal Protocol : India’s Success Story” highlighting the initiatives undertaken and achievements made by the Ozone Cell, MoEF, Government of India, on implementation of the Montreal Protocol in India.
(b) Publication of a poster, painting and sticker for distribution to Industry, Institutions, Government Departments, Schools and Students and others with a view to raise public awareness.
(c) Telecasting of a video film on the Montreal Protocol and Ozone Layer by the Doordarshan.
(d) Painting, Poster, Slogan Writing competitions for school children.
The winners of the competitions in various categories were presented awards comprising of cash award, mementoes and merit certificates at the function organized on the occasion of the 19th International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.